This Day in History: 1645-04-14

On 14th April 1645, three wagonloads of ammunition were brought to further strengthen the position of the Parliamentary besiegers. At the time, the Treaty of Uxbridge between King and Parliament had failed and it was believed that it was Charles’ intention to raise the siege at Chester and to detach a part of his forces to recover his authority in Yorkshire. An army of 3,000 Scots lay at Leeds, thirteen miles away, and a general engagement was expected in this part of the country between the Parliamentary forces and the Royalists under the command of Prince Rupert, nephew of Charles I. Parliament had made an alliance with the Scottish covenanters, having accepted the Solemn League and Covenant towards the end of 1643. It was accepted that the Scots at Leeds were prepared to join the other Parliamentary forces, drawn from Knaresborough, York, Cawood, Selby and Pontefract. Also on the 14 April, a party of twenty musketeers without any formal commander, except one of their companions William Wether, attacked a barricade, which the besiegers had erected near the New Hall: driving the men away. The attack began to demolish the structure and continued until the the enemy’s cavalry were seen ready to charge. The party retreated to the castle without loss. The same night, William Wether, with six of his companions, fell on the enemy’s trenches near Broad Lane end and killed three men and an officer in a black coat and buff scarf, supposed to be Colonel Eden. They dispersed the rest and returned safely to the castle.